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Self-weaning and IVF - dilemma

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Self-weaning and IVF - dilemma

Postby PMApsy » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:41 pm

Hi! :D

I called a fertility pharmacist and my clinic, and I now have more info about IVF meds and breasfeeding. The doctors at my clinic recommend to stop breastfeeding before attempting an FET or an IVF. It's the downregging meds that are the problem...

...but that creates a dilemma. DH will turn 40 next year and he doesn't want to wait too long before we try for #2. For now, he agreed that we stop trying at the end of 2010 or so. I thought that gave us plenty of time for an FET, an IVF and another FET if we need to, but...

While reading on weaning breastfeeding, I quickly realized that natural weaning might be the best option for my son, both physically and psychologically. Plus, in case IVF doesn't work again, I want to enjoy breastfeeding to its full extent, and of course I want to "do things right", not rush things unnecessarily. Checking a few polls on forums, I saw that natural weaning can occur between 6-7 months to 5 years of age... I already sensed that most people feel uneasy or judgemental seeing a mother nurse a child past 3 months, 6 months or 12 months. But I'm not too concerned about that. I'm more concerned about having another child while respecting both my son and husband's limits.

In an ideal world, I'd like to do my FET around April next year. My son would be 11 months old. Now I know that chances are that he won't have self-weaned by then...

Any advice?

Thanks in advance,

Sophie
1st and 2nd IVF = BFN 1st FET BFP! m/c at 7 weeks. 2nd FET BFP! 3rd FET BFN
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Postby dixie_chop » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:04 pm

I am pregnant w/ baby number one, so I may be the wrong person to answer this. But... How long does frozen breatmilk last? If its possible and it were me, I would pump and freeze as much as possible. That way, if you have to stop b/c of the meds, he is still able to get breastmilk for awhile longer. Who knows you may be able to freeze a month or twos worth of milk. Just my thoughts. :-)
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Postby meg12 » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:07 am

Sophie, First of all congrats on your son! I remember when we were both just starting this process and here we are mothers! I breastfed Lucy and she naturally weaned herself shortly after her 1st birthday, I'd say around 14 months or so. But prior to that, the only feedings she was doing for the last 4 months or so (at least) were the ones right before bed and first thing when she got up. I honestly think that if I would have stopped offering it to her prior to when we finally quit, she wouldn't even have missed it! Seriously, by that age she was so much more interested in our food and just wanted to be up and at them all the time.

Anyway, I really think that you could "naturally" wean your son at 11 months and he wouldn't be any the less for it!
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Postby jennywit » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:15 am

PMA-first off-congrats to you!!!! My littltle fella is almost 13 weeks old-and the fact that I have exclusively breastfed this long-I am VERY proud-My first was very colicky-and the short of the story is they thought it was my breastmlk and I stopped at about 2 weeks. Now the pediatrician told me early on with this one is that the important thing is that I breastfeed him for 8 weeks to get all of my immunities to illnesses and such...Breastfeeding is the most wonderful thing in the world----but my advice is don't wait for self weaning if it risks completeing your family. My almost 4 yr old is so smart and big and handsome-and he only had 2 weeks of breastmilk. I realize that breastmilk is the ideal thing but if time is of the essence-think of this-my boy has NEVER missed a day of daycare-nor ever gotten an ear infection etc... since he has been born. He had a temp one weekend that was gone by monday morning. You need to weigh your own pros and cons but if it was me, it would be more important to give my child a sibling if I could. BEST OF LUCK TO YOU!!!!!
DS#1-Stephen-born 8/05- (natural)then TTC 2 1/2 yrs- IVF#1w/ICSI-07/08-BFP! DS#2-Matthew- born 04/03/09!
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Postby PMApsy » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:05 pm

Hello ladies,

Thanks for replying and for giving such wonderful advice. Let me reply individually:

Dixie,
We shared a brain on that one! I, too, thought about freezing breastmilk and use a pump during the downregging part (and throw the milk away) to keep my production going. I just don't know how long my system would take to get rid of the meds, so I would be taking my chances. Just so you know, breastmilk can be kept at room temperature for up to 12 hours (depending on the weather, obviously), for up to 5 days in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer. However, those numbers don't add up. If you plan to freeze your milk, don't leave it on the counter and don't leave it in the fridge first. Freeze it right away. And so on. Your body will do amazing things during breastfeeding; your baby always calls the shots. So it's not recommended to use breastmilk that's over 1 month old, because your baby's need have changed and your milk has also changed accordingly. The old milk no longer fits with baby's needs. Hope that helps, and have a happy pregnancy! :D

Meg,
Oh boy, we go back a long way don't we? I remember the tears and laughter we shared luv! It's great to see you around. Congrats on your splendid little girl! :D Thank you so much for sharing your experience, it makes a lot of sense.

Jenny,
Hi there! :D Congrats on your little angels! :D I love the way you put things in your post. You're absolutely right, and it puts things in perspective a lot. Thanks also for sharing your experience!

Well, I had a good chat with DH yesterday evening. I told him about the situation. He agreed that a year or two won't make such a huge difference, so we're no longer in a rush and it relieves the pressure on me a great deal. He also said he doesn't have any preconceived ideas about breastfeeding a toddler, as long as it doesn't last forever. I agree with him. We also agreed that self-weaning seemed like the best option for our son, as long as it doesn't take forever either. So we agreed on this cunning plan.

We'll let Jérémie grow up, introduce solids when he's ready, and see how breastfeeding goes. If, by 18 months of age, he still hasn't self-weaned from the breastfeeding, we'll wait for AF and call the clinic to launch the FET cycle. I'll rent a good pump and pump my milk morning and night during feeds and build a nice little stock in the freezer. When I start Suprefact (21 days after AF starts), I'll stop breastfeeding and switch Jérémie to the bottle with my stocked breastmilk. Depending on how long we have to wait until Suprefact has cleared my system, either Jérémie will self-wean or I'll dry out or we'll give him soy or cow's milk (by then he'll be able to digest it)... and compensate with lots and lots of cuddling! I'll keep pumping to keep my production up and get him back on normal breastfeeding when I'm clear. And that will allow us to attempt FET.

Of course, if Jérémie self-weans earlier than 18 months, we'll attempt FET by then. I think this respect the whole family's personal limits.

So that's it ladies, take care and enjoy life!

Sophie xxox
1st and 2nd IVF = BFN 1st FET BFP! m/c at 7 weeks. 2nd FET BFP! 3rd FET BFN
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